On the Wings of Love
Romeo and Juliet may be the Western world's standard for star-crossed lovers, but they're not the sole example of beautiful people meeting ugly ends in the name of love. In China, the tale of the Butterfly Lovers is just as familiar and just as tragic. Zhu is a young woman who disguises herself as a boy to attend school, and ends up falling in love with her fellow pupil, Liang. Zhu is already betrothed to the violently jealous Ma, who slays Liang when the young student confesses his feelings for Zhu. Zhu then goes full-Juliet, killing herself to spend eternity with her dead paramour. There's more of a happy ending here, as Liang and Zhu are reunited as butterflies in the afterlife. The Shanghai Ballet presents this bittersweet tale of love and loss at 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday (November 8 and 9), at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org). Tickets are $35 to $45.